Thursday evening on May 4th saw the culmination of months of hard work and collaboration by the kuril dhagun team at the launch event for our latest exhibition ‘Dont Just Count Us, Let Us Count!’ In a joint effort, SLQ’s Queensland Memory team also launched their latest exhibition ‘Freedom Then, Freedom Now’. The evening took place on the Queensland Terrace and was attended by over 150 guests, including Minister Leeanne Enoch, State Librarian Vicki McDonald, a number of SLQ’s Board members, Foundation members, key partners and community members.
An integral part to the launch of ‘Dont Just Count Us, Let Us Count!’ was our partnership with the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts (ACPA) , who in fact the exhibition showcases. In the lead up to the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, we wanted to showcase ACPA’s production from 2007 called ‘Reflections: Referendum 40 years and to the future’. This production was a creative response to the 40th Anniversary of the Referendum, who’s story is told through the eyes of ACPA alumni and was directed under the leadership of Leah Purcell.
To open the night, the ACPA Fusion Dancers performed a moving piece followed by a powerful Welcome to Country by Songwoman Maroochy Barambah. The alumni and cast members who were in the original show and who are featured in our exhibition also attended the event, along with ACPA CEO Dimitri Kopanakis. Dimitri spoke on partnering with kuril dhagun to produce this exhibtion, and drove home the important work produced by the many gifted students of ACPA and its relevance today.
The final address of the night came from SLQ’s Minister Leeanne Enoch, who officially launched the exhibitions and welcomed everyone in attendance to tour the galleries. For the very first time, people were able to see the behind the scenes work that went in to creating the show, from its mere concepts right through to the final production which featured in QPAC’s Cremorne theatre for multiple seasons. The exhibition was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended the evening, and an extremely positive vibe was felt throughout the space.
A final thanks must also go out to our wonderful caterers, First Food Co, who put on an outstanding display of traditional bush themed foods and beverages, our photographer Lewis James Media for documenting the night, our performers Ling Jay and Benjin Maza and Jack Hickey for entertaining and welcoming our guests, and to all of the mob and guests who helped to celebrate the launch.
If you are looking to keep up to date with things happening within kuril dhagun, please also subscribe to our Indigenous Voices newsletter.
‘Dont Just Count Us, Let Us Count’ is a free exhibition and runs until 1 October 2017.